While humans are encouraged to wear masks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, experts are warning those with pets to leave their animals without a mask. Instead of protecting from the coronavirus, the mask could kill the animal. Experts are speaking out after a new trend that shows pet owners putting masks on their animals.

Dr. Melissa Meehan, a veterinarian in Australia, said masks can stress animals out and in the worst case scenario, a mask could kill them. The veterinarian told Yahoo News, “As a vet I am constantly treating dogs and cats that suffer from stress and anxiety, which impacts on their health and mental wellbeing and also causing behavioural issues. Putting a mask on a dog or cat can absolutely cause distress.”

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Source: New China TV

Masks are harmful because they can interrupt animals’ breathing. The mask impairs breathing, which “can increase their stress levels and could even be fatal, especially for brachycephalic breeds who already have difficulty breathing”.

Source: Woof Woof/Facebook

While mixed messages, including photos of dogs with masks circulating on Instagram, are prevalent, Dr. Meehan is urging the public to keep masks for themselves, not their pets. Learn more about pets and coronavirus, including transmitting the virus to pets, how to adopt a pet during social distancing, shelters struggling during coronavirus, and the man that fostered 100 dogs during coronavirus crisis. 

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Read more about protecting yourself from coronavirus. Check the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself and check our latest article to learn how COVID-19 differs from the flu.

Sign this petition to rescue pets that were abandoned during the coronavirus crisis.

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